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For as many wonderful people there are out there in the world, I’m willing to bet that there are just as many jerks. Maybe that’s just me being a bit cynical, but I’ve also had my fair share of jerks, so what do you expect?
While we may not be able to rid the world of jerks, we can definitely rid our lives of jerks if we keep our wits about ourselves and don’t let them get too close. It’s all about awareness and seeing clearly, even if the potential jerk is the hottest, sexiest person you’ve ever met. No amount of good looks can make up for a jerk, and that’s something you need to remind yourself every time a jerk comes your way.
If you want to avoid dating a jerk, then here’s how to do just that. If you like dating jerks, then just do the opposite of what I wrote – that way we all win.
1. Take it slow.
The thing with jerks is that they manage to keep their jerkery (yes, we’re making that a word for this piece), under wraps in the beginning. Everyone has ugly parts of their personality, the parts we like to dole out in small amounts as we get to know someone, and jerks are the same way. Although the ugly part of your personality might be that you get angry when someone swipes the last donut from the office kitchen, which, let’s be honest, is pretty endearing, jerks obviously have a whole other level of ugly behavior. If you take it slow, it will give you a chance to hopefully see the jerkery before you start having feelings for them.
2. Pay attention to early red flags.
Does he belittle waiters? Only tip 10 percent at restaurants? Does he let doors close on people? Does he talk smack about innocent bystanders? These are the type of things you want to pay attention to, because they're definitely early signs that you're spending time with a jerk, so break it off and run. Now.
3. Be wary of their behavior when they’re drunk.
Alcohol is definitely as close to truth serum that you’re going to be able to get your hands on legally. While we’re all guilty of occasionally having angry, absurd, or even mildly crazy experiences after drinking too much, some people are just straight-up awful when they drink. There’s nothing worse than a mean drunk, and jerks are almost always means drunks because their real evil selves come out of hiding.
4. Don’t let any inappropriate behavior slide.
If you want to see just how jerky the person you’re dating really is, then don’t let any inappropriate behavior slide. Call them out on all of it. If they can’t see that what they’ve done is completely jerky, then voila! They’re a total jerk and you can make a clean break before you get sucked in too deep.
5. Observe how they treat their friends and family.
In my experience, people who are jerks are jerks to everyone. While their level of just how awful they can be fluctuates, their inner jerk is always there. Even if you’ve yet to personally come face to face with their jerky side, if you witness them being a jerk to their friends or family, then something is up. You do not, like ever, want to date someone who is a jerk to their mom.
6. Get some second opinions.
As much as I think getting input from your friends regarding someone you’re dating can be problematic, I do think that if you’ve noticed the red flags and are thinking you might be dating a jerk, then you need to call in some backup. Your friends are going to see things even clearer than you, and you’ll need that so you can kick the jerk to the curb.
7. Realize that jerks don’t change.
Best way to avoid dating a jerk? Once you realize they’re a jerk, bail. People, in general, have a hard time changing, so you definitely can’t expect a jerk to change either. Sucky people are pretty much sucky people for life. It's sad, but true.